Brazilian actress Hebe Camargo is dead

Sao Paulo: Television host and singer Hebe Camargo, called by many the ‘Queen of Brazilian Television’, died in Sao Paulo of a heart attack after a two-year battle with peritoneal cancer, the SBT network reported. She was 83.

Camargo, who had signed a contract last week to return to Sistema Brasileno de la Television, or SBT, after a stint at Rede TV, died Saturday at her home in the exclusive neighbourhood of Morumbi, the network said.

In a message of condolence, President Dilma Rousseff said she had received with "sadness" the news of the death "of one of the most important personalities in Brazilian television", whom she called her "dear friend".

Camargo was "a pioneer of interview programmes" and "with her friendliness and spontaneity she welcomed, over the course of six decades, the most diverse personalities on her television programs, always maintaining a great reception among the public", the president said.

"Thousands of admirers all over Brazil lose today the joy of Hebe, a great artist, and at this time of pain and sadness, I want to express my solidarity with her family, her friends and all Brazilian television viewers," Rousseff said.